The Rubbish Villains of Doctor Who


I’ve been watching a few old episodes of [[Doctor Who (TV Series)|Doctor Who]] lately, and it soon becomes clear that the special effects budgets of the older series led to some truly pathetic monsters.

But as you can see from above, the Russel T Davies era of Who had its fair share of turkeys as well – the Slitheen were the flatulent, murderous, green freaks who disguised themselves as human in order to take of the world (what else?).

Which brings me to the point of this post – the SPACECAST blog has their own list of the worst conceived monsters in Doctor Who. And even the Davies era get included – with the Slitheen making an appearance and that ghastly scribble monster that attacks [[Rose Tyler (Doctor Who)|Rose]] and [[The Doctor (Doctor Who)|The Doctor]] in Fear Her.

There are also a handful of obscure, original series beasties that are noteworthy. The only downside with the post is that there aren’t any illustrations. All the same, a bit of diligent Googling should unearth some low-budget horrors! And it’s a great discussion point – what are the Doctor Who monsters that you’ve hated (old or new series)?

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  1. Rosie-Lee

    I never thought much of the Ice Warriors, they left me cold.  :o)

    Seriously though, they were pretty rubbishy, looking like a plastic collectible you would get out of a cereal box, only life sized.

    This was the Troughton area, I believe.




    1. Gerard McGarry

      I saw the original Sontarans the other day in The Two Doctors. What struck me was the similarity in costumes and speech and culture to the modern-day ones. Basically, they got more believeable costumes.

      I never say this, but I just can’t get into ‘old’ Doctor Who. It’s partly what you say about the costumes, but the cheapness of everything really gets to me – the cheesy synthesiser music and the loonnngggg gaps where nothing seems to happen at all. I know we complain about how rushed the current phase seems to be, but some of these stories feel positively dragged out.

      1. Jeffrey Scott

        I know I suggest the Two Doctors the other day. What I probably should have told you is, it’s quite possibly the worse episode for the Sontarans. The costumes were absolutely rubbish. If you want a good Sontaran story I’d go with “The Time Warrior”. It with Jon Pertwee, a very action oriented Doctor, it’s the first episode with Sarah Jane Smith, and it’s a historical piece as well.

        I’ll go out on a limb and say you will probably like the story. Then you will have something to compare the Sontarans from the Two Doctor with.

        As for the bad sets and poor costumes. It’s true, the budgets back then were not real good. You have to use your imagination more than anything when it comes to the baddies, but overall the stories are good. True, some of them did drag on. Espeically the ones over 130 minutes (though broken up).

  2. Rosie-Lee

    I quite like the Sontarans, probably one of my favourite villains.  They remind me of Fred Elliott, late of Coronation Street.  (Jeff – this is a British soap, so you probably haven’t a clue of whom I speak.  Sorry!)

    I agree with you about the Zarbi.  Awful.


  3. Jeffrey Scott

    Well, I know what Coronation Street is of course. But no, have never watched it. Of course I don’t even watch American soaps, despite one having Alison Sweeney in it. LOL (Host of Biggest Loser US)

  4. Jeffrey Scott

    I think in concept the Ice Warriors were a great idea. I’d love to see an updated version of them and hoped we’d see them in Waters of Mars. I think the bad bit of them were the costumes. They were fairly awful and looked like giant green turds. A bit of a makeover would do them good.

    They did start out as a Troughton villain though they were also faced by Pertwee as well. I’ll keep checking back to this thread a little at a time.

    For now, I’ll choose my pick for worste villain of the Hartnell era. The nominees are, The Sensorites, The Human Giants & The Zarbi

    The winner is: The Zarbi!

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